Liverpool made history in their League Cup quarter-final clash against West Ham United, winning 5-1 to advance to the semi-final of the tournament for the 19th time.
On the back of a disappointing goalless draw against Manchester United, the Reds set out to dispatch a West Ham side that have emerged victorious in just one of their previous 55 visits to Anfield.
Having gone 20 games without a victory at Anfield, losing the last eight in a row, David Moyes set up his side in a characteristic low block, eager to catch the Reds on the counter-attack.
Unbeaten in their last 20 games at Anfield (W17, D3), Jurgen Klopp’s men poured forward from the first whistle, piling the pressure on a rotated Hammers backline.
For all their pressure, Liverpool failed to create any worthwhile chances, but Harvey Elliott was inches away from breaking the deadlock, curling his effort agonisingly wide of Alphonse Areola’s goal.
Liverpool ramped up the pressure as Dominik Szoboszlai dragged his left foot shot wide while Curtis Jones’ curler was straight at Areola.
The Reds finally got their breakthrough in stunning fashion as Szoboszlai arrowed a long-range belter beyond Areola’s reach, bagging his fourth goal of the season.
West Ham offered precious little going forward, failing to record a single shot in the opening period with Liverpool dominating proceedings.
Klopp’s side nearly doubled their lead when Elliot’s cross found Cody Gakpo, but the Dutchman’s header bounced painfully wide of Areola’s goal heading into the half-time interval.
Liverpool got the ball rolling in the second half and nearly got their second of the evening just three minutes after the restart.
Nunez wriggled his way into the West Ham danger area, unleashing a power left foot effort but it was well met by Areola.
Just as Moyes was preparing to up the ante with the introduction of playmaker Lucas Paqueta, Liverpool dealt a killer blow, doubling their advantage as Jones beat Areola from a tight angle.
West Ham finally got their first attempt at goal through Mohammed Kudus after 70 minutes – one that barely made Caoimhin Kelleher flinch.
Liverpool responded with an effort of their own, with Gakpo hammering home from the edge of the box to make it 3-0, effectively sealing a dominant victory for the Reds.
Jarrod Bowen pulled one back for West Ham, taking a Ben Johnson pass in his stride before unleashing a beautiful right-foot curler past Kelleher.
Liverpool looked like scoring every time they poured forward and should have scored a fourth, but Mohamed Salah spurned a guilt-edged chance.
Nunez saw his effort parried onto the post by Areola, but Salah couldn’t convert the rebound with the goal at his mercy. The Egyptian made up for his howler just minutes later, racing through on goal before slotting home.
When it rains, it pours – and it rained goals at Anfield as Jones got his second of the evening, powering through a porous West Ham rearguard before firing into the bottom corner.
Liverpool were exceptional, but it’s hard to suppress the supposition that West Ham’s miserable and awfully negative display made things particularly easy for Klopp’s side.
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